Lando Norris, McLaren, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Flat-out Styrian GP showed how far behind McLaren really are – Seidl

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the true size of McLaren’s deficit to the top teams was seen last weekend, where their leading car finished a lap behind.

In brief

Austria showed full scale of McLaren’s deficit – Seidl

While Lando Norris took fifth place for McLaren in the Styrian Grand Prix, he was lapped by race winner Max Verstappen. Seidl said the full extent of the team’s deficit was visible in a race where the leaders were pushing flat-out.

“We have seen this year that both in the qualifying conditions but also in the race we have made a step forward and got closer to the guys in front,” he explained. “But it is also clear that the gap is still big, especially when these guys are doing a flat-out race which didn’t happen many times last year.”

Verstappen was pursued by championship rival Lewis Hamilton throughout Sunday’s race.

“The competition that is up between Lewis and Max, they go flat, and then that’s the real pace difference we are having in a race where you have no Safety Cars or something else,” Seidl continued.

“But again, I am happy with the steps we are making, we just need to keep making steps over the next years and at some point we will get them.”

Sainz hails “most complete race” since joining Ferrari

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Having started outside the top 10, Sainz rose to sixt
Sainz ran the joint longest stint on Pirelli’s medium tyre in the Styrian GP, and was rewarded with a sixth place finish despite a lengthy spell running behind AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.

In some part that was key to the result, as Sainz opted to manage his tyres while unable to overtake.

“Basically I knew that the medium could do those 40 laps, I just needed to make sure that I keep the tyres healthy for when I got clean air,” Sainz explained.

“What I’m most happy about is the pace once the clean air appeared. I think we managed to go down one second on last time, we managed to start lapping at a very competitive pace, even more competitive than a McLaren, I’m very close to the leaders.

“And yep, since then the feeling with the car has been amazing and it has been probably in general – just analysing it quickly – my most complete race since signing for Ferrari. The whole pace management, tyre management, pace.”

He credited the car’s performance as well as his own, saying he was “quite proud” with how he’d got a solid points haul.

Rosenqvist and Ferrucci return

Felix Rosenqvist, McLaren SP, IndyCar, Sebring, 2021
Rosenqvist is back after missing two races
McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist, who was injured in a heavy crash in the first of two races in Detroit, has been cleared to return to the series in this weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio. His place was taken by Kevin Magnussen in the most recent round of the championship.

Santino Ferrucci will also return to the series this weekend as part of a growing number of additional appearances for RLL which have come about through an expanded sponsorship deal.

F1 2021 cast list revealed

Official Formula 1 game maker Codemasters has revealed further details of the cast of characters in the story mode component of forthcoming game F1 2021. The cast list includes drivers Aiden Jackson, Cas Akkerman and Devon Butler, who are joined by deputy team principal Brian Doyle and Akkerman’s wife Zoe. Codemasters has also created real-world social media presences for the game’s key figures.

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Comment of the day

There were several disappointed reactions to the new final sector being built at Igora Drive.

Can they not just leave it alone? The first decent looking F1 track for a while – reminiscent of the new Nurburgring – and they have to try and include these silly “turn eight” style corners that we see popping up everywhere.

The original was fun. We don’t need them on every track.
@Cduk_mugello

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “Flat-out Styrian GP showed how far behind McLaren really are – Seidl”

    1. Interesting comment by Seidl.

      Begs the question or two of them actually.

      We’re Max and Lewis actually flat out?
      Was Lando flat out and if not why not? Is it a case of teams being unable to go flat out because their designs just aren’t good enough or are they protecting equipment?

      Ok it was 3 questions :)

      1. @dbradock I think what Seidl is saying is that when everyone goes largely flat-out, the true extent of the advantage of Red Bull and Mercedes over the likes of McLaren and Ferrari are shown. Last year, McLaren was maybe finishing a similar distance off the top as this season, but that was because Mercedes never really running flat-out and was leaving a lot of margin on the table.

        And looking at it, Seidl’s point about how far off they are is right. If not for the reset in 2022, McLaren would basically have to find over 1 second per lap relative to the top two teams in race trims to even compete. I’m not sure as to the actual reason, but the gaps are so close in qualifying, but Red Bull and Mercedes are in a league of their own in race trim. Norris could have beaten one or both of the Red Bulls in Imola qualifying, but Max probably could have pulled close to 35 seconds if he wanted to on Norris in just 30 laps after the restart.

        1. I think it’s refreshing to hear an F1.5 team actually benchmark themselves to RedBull and Merc. Usually the F1.5 teams seem to reference their fight for 3rd, (trying to justify their worth to their sponsors) and never acknowledge the true deficit to the front of the field.

          I think acknowledging the size of the mountain gives them a better reference for what they need to achieve, lots of work to do.

          I’m liking what I’m reading/hearing from Seidl, not happy with 3rd, not selling something he hasn’t got, amazing turn around from McLaren a few years ago. I wish them luck, it’ll be good to see them and Ferrari up at the top.

    2. Next season’s technical rule set is a chance for Mclaren, although other teams too.

      The most complete indeed.

      I don’t dislike Igora’s lap length extension. At least the two straights get longer.

    3. Regarding F1 in HDR…

      Formula 1 has always been behind when it comes to broadcasting technology. F1 wasn’t even available in HD until 2012 – a full 7 years AFTER terrestrial TV broadcasts started with HD broadcasts.

      I would LOVE to watch F1 in 4K HDR, one of the reasons I love the Drive To Survive Netflix series is the uplift in quality we get to see the cars, etc.

      Yes, F1 should be cutting edge with it’s broadcasts, but it’s not. Having F1 available in 4K HDR isn’t cutting edge, it’s merely catching up. Ecclestone seemed to really clip the wings of F1 HD broadcasts back in the 2000s, but if F1 is serious about it’s Over-The-Top services, whether it be via its own app or via Amazon (rumours abound that Amazon will be hosting F1 races in the future) then new audiences expect 4K HDR and will expect the next generation of improvements as they happen – not years afterwards.

    4. Re McLaren: There’s only one way to fend off and dethrone the Silver Arrows…
      Re Sainz: It’s close, isn’t it? Maybe he will rebuild Ferrari.
      Re IndyCar: And back to sportscars focus for Kevin.
      Re F1 2021: Turned out to be no Lukas Weber since the trailer didn’t mention him.

    5. I wonder if Mercedes’ famed reliability will take a hit if they turn up their engines more.

      1. Considering when they brought in their 2nd unit of the year, I’m pretty convinced that Merc is already planning on using at least one more unit than what is allowed this year. Personally I think it’s actually a good strategy, being able to push the engines a little bit harder and take a penalty at one race towards the later stages of the season.

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